Sunday 21 August 2016


I did in fact go out birding on Saturday. It was very pleasant to be back out, and my efforts gained me a Yellow Wagtail, a Spotted Flycatcher, two Hobbies, a Kestrel and a Sparrowhawk - the birds of prey all simultaneously. I say effort, but I have forgotten how easy birding can be. I wandered about a bit is the sum of it. Easy this birding lark, but someone has to do it. Shetland will be rather different I expect, slogging it up Quendale repeatedly is decidedly not easy. I am on the cusp of booking tickets, oh what fun, a week of being blown off my feet, getting very wet, and seeing Blackcaps.

In other news I went out birding today too! This morning's very brief jaunt gained me a winter Wigeon (thanks Bob!) and probably a Tree Pipit. Tony had one buzzing around the brooms earlier, but when we all had a bit of look later we could only find a cheeping Meadow Pipit. Until that is I found a silent Pipit. Silent Pipits are the worst kind of Pipits. I like loud noisy Pipits, especially ones that go zzzzzzzzzzzzzz. I especially like very stripy Pipits, but this wasn't one of those. No this was one of those oh you little bugger Pipits that might have been a Tree Pipit, but equally might not have been. Bob did catch up with it after I had left to go do my mountain of errands, but I have on plenty of occasions chased around resolutely silent Pipits only for them to eventually go seep after wasting half an hour of my time. So I will have to leave it, unless it was up near the log of happiness, in which case I am having it. Maybe. Need to get into shape for Shetland I suppose!

In other news I had a plant disaster at home whilst we were on holiday, failed ventilation, and when we got back from Vienna at 7.30pm it was 43 degrees in there Lord knows what it would have been in the heat of the day. Five days of it and there has been mass leaf die-off in my conservatory. And I do mean mass, it is so sad. I was doing so well, my new-found enthusiasm was producing excellent results. Anyway, what was a beautiful and lush place to spend time is now a mostly barren desert filled with what look like empty pots. We spend so much time in there as a family that we can't wait that long, and whilst most plants will likely regrow leaves in time it could easily be a year from now or even longer. So I have embarked upon a whirlwind of foliage gathering, buying new plants all over the place for instant and replacement happiness. This has seen me hit Maldon in Essex, and New Malden and Guildford in Surrey this weekend, but I am pleased to say that after a weekend of slogging and hard graft we are getting back to something looking more green and pleasant. Let's face it, I'd be bored if everything just went according to plan and all I had to do was sit down.

None of these plants exist any more... :-(

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